Is my PS about parent's murder too much?

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Is my PS about parent's murder too much?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:14 pm

I feel like I am focusing too much on the death aspect. Also feel like I'm repeating myself a lot. Please critique is if you get a chance and let me know what it may be missing or how I can shorten it. It is currently 3 pages at 11 pt double spaced.

I’ll always remember the sense of urgency the third phone consecutive call made me feel. The vibration of my phone could no longer be ignored and I knew I had to step out of my Introduction to Oceanography class to answer it. The call was coming from my mother’s friend and the stuffy nosed sound in her voice indicated that what I was about to hear would not be good news. The reason for her call was to inform me that my mother had just died, murdered at the hands of her new husband. With out words, I hung up the phone, casually walked backed to class, got my backpack, and walked to my car to begin the sixty mile trip to my mother’s house. Throughout the entire drive, I did not have single thought or feeling. Looking back, I should have relished in that moment because the next few months would lead through an uncontrollable spiral of erratic thoughts and feelings that would put my life on hold and suspend all other aspects of it.

The day of the funeral was the first time any of my emotions presented themselves. Seeing my mother in her casket was when I felt the sorrow set in. Seeing the knife wounds through the caked on makeup is when the anger came on. Thinking about what I could have done to prevent this knowing my mother and stepfather’s history of domestic violence, brought on a deep sense of guilt. These emotions would last indefinitely. Unsurprisingly grades suffered and I became detached from my job. The only thing I was fixated on was seeing to it that my mother’s assailant was punished. I began to turn my attention towards the desire for justice. My only experience in the criminal justice system at that point was from reruns of Law and Order. Believing that justice would be swiftly served, I quickly curbed my enthusiasm when I learned exactly how slow the wheels of criminal justice. My frustration and pessimism towards the legal system immediately set in, but something unexpectedly positive came from the situation. John, an attorney in the prosecutor’s office handling the case against my mother’s attacker, suggested a support group for families of murder victims that he regularly attended to cope with the death of his family member. Initially, I was apprehensive at the thought of sharing my feelings with strangers so I feigned an indifference towards my mother’s death. I soon realized that this would not be healthy because much like how the mortician’s makeup could not conceal the puncture wounds, I could not continue to shield my despondency.

It was in a church’s recreation room that the meeting was held. The group meeting was for an organization that provides support for families of the victims of murder and suspicious unsolved kidnappings. John greeted me when I walked in and was told to introduce myself, the reason I was there, and any other relevant information I wished to share. I did not divulge much information during this first meeting, but just being there proved to be pivotal because hearing the emotions and feelings of others who had lost loved ones resonated with me. It reassured me that I was not alone in the way I felt after my mother’s murder. As time went on, I began to open up to the group and became interested in finding ways to help the grieving process. It was not instantaneous though and I would not be sincere in this writing if I said I did not continue to wallow, blame myself, or feel anger after attending the support group for an extended period. Regardless of the time it took me to cope, I am certain that the support group facilitated a shorter grieving period. Among the most important lessons I learned that helped me cope was to have confidence in our legal system and those representing my interests and to trust that justice would be served eventually, despite having to wait long periods for it. It was John and the other group members who gave me an appreciation for the valiant prosecutors and the process of the law. I realized, had it not been for the prosecutor’s support and understanding they expressed towards me and my family, as well as their hope-inspiring dedication to uphold the law, I do not think I would have had the courage to fight through the depression I sunk to. The wonderful admiration I developed for their work is best analogous to the reverence a child feels towards a firefighter. It was then that I felt a burst of passion and excitement, a feeling I had not felt in a long time, when I realized that I wanted to be just like them.

This motivation was quickly capitalized upon and used by me to offer to extend support to others. Using a strategy similar to the marketing strategy at my sales job, I pursued leads of those that might need support. Scouring current and past local news articles about murder victims allowed me to use social media to connect with the family members of the victims. My message to them was simple: condolences for their loss, letting them know they were not alone in how they felt, letting them know how beneficial support groups could be, and how to contact me if they needed to talk to someone who has felt what they were going through. To my surprise, a majority of people wrote back with questions of their own like how they could find I support group near them or how I personally coped with the shock. This persistence paid off as new members began attending as a result of my invitation. Being there for others that are walking in the same shoes as I once did was an exceedingly fulfilling experience so much so that I began to appropriate the details of these actions into the framework that I envision for my own career. The feeling of satisfaction and pride that came over me from being able to give someone else the same assurance and support that I received in order to overcome my despair, was enough motivation for me to recognize that I could continue to replicate that support in a career of law.

Ironically, my mother’s death represented both peril and promise in my life. On one end it began what would be the most difficult and grief stricken period of my life, but on the other end it was a catalyst that helped me solidify that I wanted a career in law and the remembrance of it would provide me with an everlasting motivation to pursue it. This dichotomy and its unexpected result of giving me inspiration during the lowest period of my life is what allows me to pursue towards my goals with optimism and confidence. What my mother wanted for me in life is what I strive for now and there is no doubt that her death shaped me and my ambitions into what they are today. I know that nothing I do will ever bring her back on this Earth again, but I take solace in the idea of one day helping the families of the victims, who will go through the same pain I felt. My expectation is that law school will not just give me the opportunity to advance closer to a career in assisting and advocating for others, but will also give me the chance to bring forth a different perspective from my unique circumstances that is not universal to all.


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Re: Is my PS about parent's murder too much?

Postby DrGlennRichie » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:45 pm

Overall OK. I didnt see red flags

1. It probably can by shortened. I wasnt bothered reading it, but it probably should be shortened.
2. "they could find I support group near" - looks like a typo.
3. I would remove the word "ironically" from the beginning of last paragraph. It is fine without it


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Re: Is my PS about parent's murder too much?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:29 am

Delete the final six words of your PS as they are redundant with "unique circumstances". Consider substituting the following sentence in place of your current final sentence: "My hope is that a career in law will enable me to assist and to advocate for others in a compassionate manner and from a perspective born from my unique circumstances."

Thank you for sharing your thoughts & experience. Should be healthy--cathartic--to relieve some emotional tension.

My overall impression is that you've turned a horrific event into a positive growth experience.

I am not comfortable with the last two sentences of your third paragraph. Try "The wonderful admiration I developed for their work created a burst of passion...". (Shorten by deleting analogy to firefighters & combine these two sentences into one.)

Consider deleting the first sentence of your PS. Both the start & finish of your writing are weak & unnecessary, in my opinion.

First paragraph: "...and suspend all other aspects of it." is redundant with the prior phrase.

Use "without", not "with out"'

Try: "but I take solace in helping others."

"This persistence paid off" is inappropriate & unnecessary; sounds as if you were selling burial plots rather than seeking to help others through a crisis.

Third paragraph: Delete "suspicious".

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Re: Is my PS about parent's murder too much?

Postby splitsohard » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:25 pm

First, I'm so sorry that this has happened to you. It sounds like an incredibly difficult situation to have gone through, and you could not have endured it without being particularly strong.

Second, I think this needs a lot of restructuring. I felt like I was reading a story about what happened to your mom, and as really important as that is, I want to know more about you and the actions you took to move past it and resolve it. You touch on it a bit here, but you need to restructure it so that the reader can see your strength, and not be forced to fill in the blanks.

If you need more help feel free to PM me.

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